The test is that there is no test, by Angel Brynner.AOLAB 2012NOLA.

The truth of the matter is that I really don’t care. Very deep. Anymore.

It is one thing when you truly love a person & find out that, for all the general love and peace of mind found over time on situations, you have not only wasted you breath of life, but also anyone elses who cared enough to have hope alongside you as you went about repairing things that only you put the effort in to repair.

But it is a whole other spiritual matter when you discover that, though what it looks like has been”done” to you is horrendous and hurtful, especially seen in light of theatrics of morality danced through whilst you were unaware of what was going on beyond the curtain…that you are not only not numb,but that that you sincerely don’t give a fuck about the person who has done the thing in the first place, and some semblance OF care is required For you to be hurt in that first place.

I cried when i found out what i did. Which i will not go into. actually, i cried about 18 hours after the fact. But i wasnt crying for the person.What i cried for was for me. saw every “hit” & “jab” at my worth that has been taken by this person, especially over this last season,especially in the state i arrived to New Orleans in…the ignoring, knowing i was busting m ass and in need…the reveling in my being “in need” as i was simultaneously dismissed due to it. As i felt the downlooking, I had laughed in the situation because God calls you to at the oddest times,& i kept pushing, in spite of how to do so was working 100% against what i was pushing for without the grace of God. It was the purest,simplest thing: How they saw me or treated me didnt factor into what was on my day-to-day plate and i had things to handle, here.

And it is so strange…that, because of san ant, i’d coasted through on this wave of what i thought was “love” for them,but now see as love for God & his rewrites…and didnt take offense,chose to see the actions with love,& kept to courses laid.the no factored it out of something to focus on because there were other fish to fry,other shit to handle that weighed in much more. & even more strange that, for all of the above-mentioned, i hadnt reached out to share having won the position i’d aimed for-it hadnt even crossed my mind as if,even though i wasnt ‘conscious’ of what i now know, my spirit was & knew no joy at the solutions would be shared. it wasnt just an unspoken “dont bother’, it was unthought.

Life is strange.

 

 

 

 

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AOLAB: the Art of Life, alive and well in NOLA, or “the apple of my eye” part IV, for sure.

I got back to New Orleans at 7am, April 14th.

The song that exploded from my heart upon passing thru on the way to Mexico was subdued, still sleep at the spot i was heading back to for the third time. That’s right…the IndiaHouse.

Now, a lot of you reading this who met me in Miami know of the Indiahouse because i re-charted a whole bunch of yall, making sure you didnt miss it or New Orleans as you were heading across the rest of the country from down in the panhandle. New Orleans is the place i send evreyone to because it is like no place else in America, and at the same time gives you this strange comprehension OF the country as a whole outside the big cities soon as you get there. So the homecoming, in a sense, was a no-brainer. It got to the point of “You tell everyone you meet its like the best, so why are you not there?lol”

In all actuality, I was Never supposed to be in Miami Beach for a year. I was to go for Art Basel, play, then turn my butt around and head Back TO New Orleans to paint a house…Angel-Style lol. But after Basel, the mural offer came, and everything else…so i got waylaid on the sands of south beach. No regrets about that. A lot of good came from it, and i met most of yall who are reading, or the folks who passed on the word about this blog to yall.

But can i write here?

That is the question. The 1st 18 chapters of Exist did spill out here in 2008, but it was a special set of circumstances. For me, Nola has been mostly Visual Art & Volunteering, which is surprising in a town so full of music and melody…which i feel when i am writing moreso than visually…

But even i was surprised when, in Mexico, the course of research i was doing for the current set of book outlines did a surprise boomerang back up inTo this territory, in a way that made me think long and hard about my girl Kyra who came here to do her Master’s Thesis. If She could find what she needed to write here- and i met her in the midst of her doing just that…then so can i.

But FIRST…yes, the wall is a glorious galewind for the paintaddict in me, & FOH will be a blessing too…but after all the twist and turns & kale & treechopping in ole Lone star over there…mama needs to find another job.

 Because  she misses FRESH FRUIT terribly…and after not being able to eat any the whole time she was IN Mexico, much of any first supplemental paycheck she gets will go to procuring lots of it.

putting it out there lol.for the love of grapes lol

for the next month, i will be eating fruit & guzzling drinkable water lol

San Antonio 2012..I’ll C your E and raise you some Kale & a tree lolol, or…the circle closes.

But the staff/system thing…is a whole other entry, right? That’s what i said.

Well, “C” was about finding art bandits doing their thing in the locale area, plus cultural buzz, eco-clear headed buzz, etc. And E was about making the “work” part work..which, stateside should have been as easy as pie, right?

Being frank.

I am NOT going to trash the whole system. There are people who truly do have a heart to help. Many whose hearts to do so have grown cold after it seeming so futile over the years.

What i will say…is that before you ever look down on a homeless person as being “perfectly able,but sitting there doing nothing”…not even just “You don’t know their story.”This is deeper than that…and it weaves into  both C & E for AOLAB.

This is being said by someone every one of yall Knows…works her ass off every chance she gets. I go there. I don’t even feel flowing correctly unless there are a couple of things workwise moving forward.

If San Antonio is indicative of the true issue in the system…then Houston, we Have a fn problem that No One has broached in ALL the years of  debating this whole welfare state handout mentality.

…Its not they dont want to help themselves.They’re backlashed against. In ways that you possibly cannot even imagine. They dont lose hope. Their hope is bashed out of them by red-tape and such dehumanizing dances they are forced into, to break them, that block them From getting a job & getting “help” at the same time that it is No fn Wonder so many are heartbroken into immobility.

And even in the situations where many of the higher up truly do have hearts of compassion and a true caring spirit for those they truly believe they are serving… The “Gatekeepers” that many believe they must interract with in lieu of taking things “higher”…were some of the most vindictive, malignant, debasing people i have had the displeasure of having to interract with in a very long time. Soul-feasters who smacked down anyone they thought was getting too openly doing for themselves on their watch. Not all. But of the 12 under the person running the gauntlet i had the necessity of interacting with and watching as they moved onto other targets, not comprehending Why their rolls didnt work with me…2. treated the women with respect. The others? It was more than “Not good.”

I Understood WHY some of these women struggled with giving up every morning due to what they were greeted with from those poised to help them or not. Big things and Little things. They’d  look down on the women like they were animals…but then when it was time to do chores[very oldschool hostel style:/], i actually had to demand actual cleansers to do an effective job with. for 20 minutes. They would allow in a woman in who clearly needed to bathe…then for two days refused to give her towels they had to do so, or toiletries. So the women piled up toiletries on her bed so she could.

A chick got hit by a fucking Car…and then dismissed by the EMTs when they found out where she lived[& no insurance]…walked in the door, face bruised, cuts full of asphalt…& they refused to let her shower. She broke her glasses, is all but blind, but the experience so shut her down that she was too ashamed to go to the emergency even though we were all worried she was bleeding internally. The damage had already been done. Friday when she woke up, she couldnt move.

The absence of dignity and humanity was on the staff side, not those stuck in the “hostel.”

and outside of its grounds, systemwise, it only got worse. I’d been “requested” to do it “their way” on the 9th. by the guy i’d gotten assigned to on Good friday due to going around the building trying to find out why this weird intake thing was being refused. “Let the system work.Isnt there anything you’ve been putting off you can handle here? Doctors? Vision?” i went…”fine.” & just felt called to pay attention.I went for a TB test & then went through the process they make folks go through to get “referrals” that turn out to be useless where they send you, sending you back to where you started to get the letter they could’ve given you in the first place. By the afternoon, i was so disgusted by what i saw these people do in the name of “Help-”  That a guardian angel with me was just like “Calm down.”

But in the process of trying to find a better answer for one of the dehumanzing things they set the women out on…they sent them to this place for help…on a path i wouldnt wish on an enemy…into higway traffic, under a bridge in a glass strewn area, no sidewalks, dodge more highway traffic- a place that made them have to return again & again to receive any assistance, very “maybe tomorrow” after having them waste their days there, instead of working. It wasnt impossble to have a sane walk to the place. it was just 10 minute more to not walk through where some people purportedly slept. These women could get attacked easily on their so-called path…but the answer to”do you have a map so i can plot a better course?” was looked at likei was speaking Japanese &in turn ignored. So i decided to find my way back myself. which led to…in trying to find a sane way…my stumbling across…a place called ARTPACE.

Dingdingding! That’s right! C!

Turns out they are quarterly residencies in this really cool space- they built out this building to have a couple of galleries and bring in one international, local, and national artist every three months, plus have all kinds of events for the local art scene- there IS an art scene! southside is where most of the galleries are… And i got invited to an event on Friday…but i’m getting ahead of myself in the story.

Back to the whole “you arent allowed to help yourself without there being grave consequences. Anyone remember Ellsworth Toothey from Ayn Rand’s book? His minions, full-on & true. Altruism, my ass. it was a cannibalistic feast up in there. & if you didnt jump through their hoops, it was a problem.

…so i was officially…a problem. I’d been told there were temp job places where i could make my fare forward as a daylaborer.The head person sent me to get the list Tuesday afternoon. The chick refused to give it. By Wednesday afternoon,hands slapped whenever i went for my own[ to which folks got slapped back], i’d been pulled in to that guy’s office…& after he got all defensive about the stuff he looked away from, he finally admitted he’d been horrified hearing how his coworkers treated the ladies, then  told me that i had to speak to the head person if i really wanted ish to change. Because she always said if she didnt know, how could she change anything?

So i did. Told her about what they’d tried with me, how the info she’d told me to get had been refused, how they wouldnt let the accident victim shower. Told her who the real animals were. Thursday…the staff ran around like little evil chicks, whispering  hatefully…because she chewed their asses out in writing. I became the “one who talked.” But they gave me berth. it wasnt even for me. It was for the ones who, in one interaction with these bitches could be demoralized for a month and they knew it

I texted the guy I’d done the murals for at Indiahouse and asked to come back. He went “Fucking Perfect!” I told them i’d lined up stuff in NOLA. But it was-They wanted me to wait on the ‘system” to help me.Because They were the face of the system.  Case worker was talking about 3 wks to a month & maybe you’ll stay…I didnt want you to get overwhelmed…but he was talking about by not being Able to do anything, not by my doing too much, and then some of the women were like “stay with us~”lolol…I was like…love, comfort amongst due to silliness…but I am getting the HELL out of San Antonio.

By Thursday morning, fed up with all this stupid running around- i’d rode with 2 ladies to another place i was supposed to wait for the worker to “contact on my behalf”- i’d walked an hour to another one i was to wait for him to contact the day before and refused-& told oh well, no…& when i was like..”Ok. fine. you have to have a temp job provider list here.can i have it so i can get out of here?”

She paused…and finally gave it to me.Then there was all this disarray who, what, where the spots were- the crescendo of mess over how are you going to get to the places, huh? it was just demonic and i’d had enough.

I just got fed up. Asked T to stop the car around the block from the place.

Walked into a Vegetarian restaurant full of tatted and pierced Vegan hippie artguys and gals. Asked for a mgr. went “Look, I’m stranded here and trying to get to a job & bed in New Orleans.Can you hire me for a few hours to make the cash for the ticket?”

Hired on the spot.

Went over & told the case worker in the office with one of the staff. Utter shock. then his recovery.”See~ i told you…be patient~!”

I went”actually, it was the exact opposite of being patient, but thanks.lol”

The staffer? her jaw was still dropped  when i walked away. I told some of the ladies…first there was shock at it having been right there around the corner for the asking.Then they  all wanted to come too. Will any go over after i left? I hope so.

onto E! lol

My Job for the afternoon? a little gardening…which had me turning artichoke & celery plants into ikebana projects in their mini-farm in front of the place..and then…harvesting Kale. two bags full. Then cleaning it. Thank GOD…i didnt find out that aphids were plant lice until  the next afternoon or i would’ve passed out lol. Then i had to go back. But i was happily halfway there. Plus i was given amazing, fresh Vegan food on top of pay that my body just absorbed lol.The next morning i went back & basically was their spring cleaner. & since that’s my zen thing…it was the perfect dialing out of the whole thing. even trimmed down a tree.

Had to check back in at lunch. They wanted me to go get some paperwork. I said “i’d rather work to get my ticket if they’ll let me. do i need it to stay another night if necessary?’ the staffer tried to hem in but the worker overheard and sadly said “no, you can still stay, but you really dont want to stay over the weekend?” & i calmly said no. Knowing he really didnt understand. It was the same question the women asked, and i answered the same way.

I went back and re-organized their dry storage, ate, went back to the place & ran into the worker. told him. he was like “…:(ok.” I went in.door was locked. I was like “i need to get my stuff, i’m leaving.”

a staffer actually went”No! I dont care. You cant get it now! you have to wait until 6pm!” Sparks shot from my eyes, but before i could reach through to take her by her giblet, her co-worker yelled at her”Go unlock the door!You better not make her miss her bus!”

It was a shock. to me AND the one trying to block me in. she actually said “you mean i really have to let her in?!” Shocked and appalled. Then just steaming as she did it.

I wrote a thank yall so much letter to the ladies, got my ish and flew out to the parking lot. with just enough for the ticket & change. One of the 2 i mentioned earlier that was happy over the job thing? she gave me a lift to the station…and just waited to get out of dodge.

But THAT is not the end.Not exactly.

I get on the bus and a woman started going on and on happily about Fiesta…which…is a two week event in April that all of San Antonio turns into a huge street fest. Sounds like a Carnivale-type vibe, all kinds of parades, marching bands, always a week or so after Easter. She also…very proud of her city..explained that it was a small town, primarily for retirees to flourish in…and for training the armed forces. Btw…If you KNEW how Many recent Veterans…are in the system After Iraq and Afghanistan…having to fight through red tape all the same but even moreso as women…it’d break your heart or piss you off.

But back to the thing at hand. the Fiesta, with Greens, the Vegan spot where i did the work for the ticket and ArtPace…are my offerings to cover “C” for San Antonio’s AOLAB. There is a hostel. But not really. It is a bed& breakfast, in a supposedly very dodgy neighborhood that guests have rated accordingly.

As for Volunteer opportunities…you can “Give”  supplies for women and children- Towels, toiletries, food, books, laundry stuff, whatever-at the Salvation Army..but address them to the director with explicit instructions that it go directly To the women in the emergency shelter.ANd that you want to see it doled out to ensure it gets to them. That admonition has nothing to do with the Officers of the Salvation Army.

The actual Officers…were those good-hearted ones i spoke about in the beginning of this. They were the ones who, when they saw something askew, actually tried to do stuff about it. It’s that who they pass the ball to on the ground absolutely sucked… the life out out anyone they could get their claws into.

But How…HOW DOES THIS COME TOGETHER TO MAKE SAN ANTONIO A GOOD EXPERIENCE FOR YOU OUTSIDE OF HITTING YOUR AOLAB MARKS? right?

A lot of stuff i didnt even know i had been asking got answered in San Antonio in affirmative ways. We’ll see how those answers play out over these next few weeks in NOLA.

As of right now, I’m signed on til June. The wall for the new mural has already been assigned and the imagery started flooding through immediately.

Is Indiahouse the same? Yes and no…but in a beautiful, beautiful way. But maybe that applies to me too.

Yall who’ve been with this for a while remember that at the start of 2010, i’d wanted to buy a house here. In Hindsight, i can see the stuff that needed to be effectively handled before that would’ve been anything BUT a catastrophe, no matter my good intentions. In the past 2 years, a lot of those answers have come. In San Antonio a root motif was finally revealed for what it is, and i pray to god …removed once and for all.

we’ll see.

What it comes down to is…did it all come together for the good?

Yes. & Those women loved on me so hard just for being open to being there, in the head of “Dude, shit happens, i’m here, but here doesnt define me, and Yall are fn amazing”…I dont want to compare…let each place be its place…but the people i met in San Antonio in that “nominal” place were better than…many met on this long and winding road.& they deserve credit for that too. But telling you…sections of my heart that had all but shut down had been restored.

oh. Another side note, kinda. Speaking to that whole thing broached about the Family ish and HOW much God has changed not only me, but them too. I didnt reach out to my family until thursday, & it was in frustration after the chick pausing as she pondered giving me the list before she did.I was surrounded by folks who were “used to it..” & i got so irked that…I started texting my momma.

Lol. going the f off about how i see why  people Dont ask for help, seeing firsthand what is done to them. Mad. MAD. Then we were headed back and The whole thing with the restaurant job on spot thing went down.

It was when i came Back… from that afternoon of ikebana /Kale cleaning…that i found out my Mother…the same one who’d been the featured actress in that first throwdown in 1998…had texted me after my blasts…

“How do i send a will-call ticket?”

And i…got to write back to her”For the first time in my life…i get to say”Nevermind~:”/ because mah hippie folk hired me on the spot blahblahblah.”

THAT…was God closing the circle and shutting down the demon who’d been laughing at the root of that Whole thing 13 years ago. the schism closed. I am grateful for the entire experience. Nuts and bolts.It was Hardcore. but even with all i said, i had a bed where i’d otherwise Not had one. And a shower. and food. I just dont think that being grateful for that means that you must pay with your soul being cannibalized, and i wish to God it HAD been a different kind of witnessing in counterpoint to the good. But i’m also glad he & they Let me get a better picture of it than i had coming in.

And those women? Blew up my phone with texts of Love & be blessed once they found out i had flown the coop.

As for the final tenet of AOLAB…the “And Show what comes out of you, artistically,” SO far… THAT..is this. I can write about all of it for what it was.Because the truth of it is this: In that shelter…were people with full-time jobs too. Whole families, working…in our day and age…who lost jobs.and then homes. It was no less “you” than the you that you see in the mirror everyday as you set out in your day. You never know .

Just be grateful.

I gave the head guy here the biggest Bearhug when i got here today. 12 hour bus ride. took an hour nap today. Have spent the rest of it writing, Stunned at this crazy journey that “F it, i’m going to Mexico” turned out to be. Grateful for every iota of it. It’s been an intense Art of Life segmentthat i dont have to be honest about, but i feel like it will do morefor folks to know the “shit happens” aspect of hitting the road just as much as encouraging you towards the great…but its been a good one.

And so Hecho en mexico and all aspects connected to it…come to their close.

the A’s,B’s & D’s of San Antonio 20121998

I got to San Antonio, knowing that was where i was being pulled, knowing that things were going to be addressed that i wasn’t even exactly clear on when i arrived. I’d only known i was going back through there, and that by the time i’d arrived, i  had not heard back from the only hostel officially listed in the area about staying there.

I wasn’t  frantic. The call itself was clear. Unfinished business. To be handled once and for all.  Well… after all the highs of Mexico, frankly stated, i ended up in a flipping shelter my first night in San Antonio. I sat there, not exactly shocked- OKAY- i was shocked out of my gourd. But it was more like a stunned numbness as i “went with it.” It was a Salvation Army-run shelter. And i sat there at 10 o’clock at night, numbstunned lol, but practial. Adventure-wise with this wild-assed Art of Life Project, i looked for common aspects and I basically rationalized it.

A) GO. I’m Here. I’m stuck. It’s a bed, a shower, a locker, & some food tossed in, alongside  a whole bunch of folks i do not know. Many who are scared of Hostels THINK they ARE the same thing…So i can use that head to do what i gotta do here and treat it as such. Same variables- whole different KEEL, for sure. But i can Handle this to see why the F is He like “it’s time,” Here and NOW?

B)WHO. And who is up in this place that is going to blow my mind like the other travelers i run into out on this wild, art-trek road? Whose story do i need to pay attention to and give shout-outs about, even ,yes, in this bizarre spread of the variables that might inspire someone else who reads this?

C) SEE. There HAS to be an Art Scene here because it’s too far away from anything else to not being doing some semblance of its own thing. If Anyone else was stupid enough to get stranded in fn San Antonio, what flipping tips can i give them gleaned from this experience?

D)DO. What the f can i do here…that is going to build up folks in a volunteer capacity the way i try to find ways to do no matter which spot i end up in due to AOLAB?

…and in this case, Most Importantly:

E) Where the frank am i going to work to make the money to get my ass back to New Orleans where i KNOW i’m supposed to be at?

Having “decided” to “Go with it and see what the heck this was going to be about,” i sat there a moment. out of nowhere, i asked God “Why did i end up in San Antonio in 1998 again?”

Because i had completely forgotten the details. NOT the  general event. But the specifics. Well, he got specific and my heart leapt.

“Your mother told you  that your father told her you said she’d sexually assaulted you to protect who he knew did, and she’d believed his lie…and when you told on the truth to each of them they punished you.”

“Oh. Oh yeah.” was all i could say. On April 4th, 2012, heart ringing in shock due to the remembrance.

NOW… Understand.

ALOT HAS HAPPENED BETWEEN THEN AND NOW.

I got saved in 2002. And it STILL took like 10 years…for the messed-up family stuff A lot of folks out there have to trudge through…to start to work work itself out. But MOST, if not all of that went down due to what God changed in me, and what came about due to my following him instead of my instincts. IT IS SOLELY that A LOT that has gone down…that allowed me to open to THIS experience the way that i would to any other that i have been on with AOLAB.

My family HAS changed, because HE gave them no other option once I got saved. If i really f’d up now…& had to call them, and they HAD it, they’d send it. And i AM loved.& i love back. BUt to say it was not always the case is like saying Black is a little darker than white lol. God is a TRIP.

But then…?

See…In the autumn of 1998, fresh off my first trek to Tokyo in connection with the clothing company i had given birth to in 1997, i was knee-deep in negotiations for the next stages of xyz.I had literally been to the mountaintop. The one i’d aimed for. I had no interest in fashion outside of Menswear, and no interest in the business outside of Japan. Was being mentored by one of the biggest names in that industry, on top of stuff i’d made happen like a Daimon to the shock & awe of all. The money was more than on the table. Research treks had already been underwritten, spin-off lines were about to be mocked up- we were talking real estate. Fifth Avenue real estate. And this was for a dream i’d been headstrong on since i was 16. Even at 23, that’s still seven years.

And THIS was right around the time that, unbeknownst to me, God had watered a little seed in me to want to be a writer…since i could pretty much do anything. Huge Backlash against even expressing that dream in the midst of this design one. Except from the marketing division of the main company sponsoring me, who’d done everything due to my “copy.” They actually saw something HUGE in my writing and encouraged me to really look into it because That, to them, was the true gift. but No One else was amused at all.

Then my kid sister tracked me down at a friend’s flat in nyc and told me that a cousin was being abused by a person who’d hurt many kids in the family over the years & none would take the girl in. On December 17th, 1998, as i was trying to wrap my head around how i was going to be a mother to a 15 year old at 23, i walked out of negotiations on one stage of a project with two other funded parts on the table to be honored at beginning of the year, hardly any cash in my pocket. I hopped a bus to San Francisco to hide out at the home of my college roommate.

I made the call to my parents, pleading with them to take this kid in…and let them know i’d walked out of negotiations.There was indifference about the girl, anger about the work. And in the midst of all that, my mother dropped the abuse accusation bomb on me. A Bold-faced lie. Cruel, untrue. Sick. a typical mindfuck in his genre that she wanted to believe.& in hindsight…utterly protective on his part. Due to witnessing her willingness to believe him when she’d known the truth[as it did eventually come out down this dark road], due to seeing this fire i had under me to do something in the “NAME” of this f’d up family name that, due to that dysfunctional mess we all have in our families, was sacrificing another kid to a different set of flames while the elder generation snarled and laughed. I…told the truth. Angrily. To all.

And just like it normally goes down in sitches like this[ ALL SAID IN HINDSIGHT] the truth just kept coming. Masks kept falling off all around the place. Not just family- friends. No one liked me, they all liked what i was on the cusp of being widely noted due to. They were sticking around for their payoff.& when it looked like i wasnt going to take it, the fuck-yous came Loud and Clear lol.and… i snapped. I…hopped in a car with a friend of a friend and road-tripped from san fran to el paso, then got dropped off in San Antonio. Christmas eve. With meetings to get back to in nyc at the start of the year, a music event to guest host on like January 7th, things on tap that would have me making more in an event than my parents made in a quarter.

But they didnt know that. They only knew…that i had disrupted the lies they were feeding each other, and that i had walked out on ‘a negotiation’…they werent a part of my life outside of me making that call TO beg them to take in my cousin. And that now, here i was, calling them, saying i was stranded.

I was left stranded lol. In San Antonio. As my “christmas present.” Whole family instructed not to deal with me. Not one of them willing to send me cash for a ticket, with no clue what was already mine, tacked to that family name back in nyc.

Stranded. Unsaved. Angry enough to kill. All masks off, so i knew who was who in my so-called “LIFE.” And the words just started to fall out of me. At a teeny table in the amtrak station. I wrote my first 60 pages of what became the core cause and effect of Exodus and Exist, pissed off enough to go and do what Artyo does in a flood of rage.

…and then God..broadened my pissed off perspective. I ended up going to a shelter for the first time in my life. Women my age and a little older, & children. Seeing the dominoes fall all around me as kids- because even at 23 with the stuff i’d done, i was still a kid- beating their kids the way they’d had the stuffing beaten out of them, kids looking at me like “Please Help me!”

God’s Christmas present to me was showing me that my family wasnt the only family Utterly f’d up and dyfunctional and tossing their offspring to demons. It was not just me and my friends. The attack was generational and on a grand scale.

And then…to hit it home, he had me come across this story in one of the Salvation Army newletters where they took a scripture that Jehovah witnesses use to keep their kids in line, about how the kids of the end times were going to be  and do all this horrible stuff. And the parents are running around washing their hands of it, woe is me-style-” these monsters!!”but the article finished in god’s voice, saying:

“Your children will be my judgement against you and what you’ve done to them.”

I got out of there on New Year’s eve.Traveler’s Aid. & a friend from high school who wasnt pissed at my considering even more walking away from designing after i saw firsthand what people truly thought of me when the money looked like it wasnt there…that vouched for me being who i was.

I went back to nyc, and instead of signing a lease, I slept on my play sister’s couch…and took a job at a restaurant across the street waiting tables in Williamsburg. Instead of going forward in my father’s name with the line. And it basically started a cycle of me doing just that.  Hiding out, learning how to “serve” since being the do-er had only brought hatred & all this other mess. Not saying the logic was right…fleshing out the picture.

I hid, eventually taking a job as a tea server in the basement of a Japanese department store in manhattan so as to deal with the abject reverse culture shock i was being wracked with on top of all else due to how Perfectly Japan had fit everything about me while i was there. I didnt go back to my corporate sponsor until spring 2000.They had no clue what happened. And they wished i’d just told them. In the end, they backed my last show as i shut down the line. Funded it completely so i could keep my word to others of doing one in Japan.

Alot of things have happened since then. Like the grievechronicles became the reality they already were to me then. Like the Art. But what about Now?

BUT…WHAT ABOUT this TIME IN SAN ANTONIO?

Well…IT was INTENSE LIKE A MOTHERFUCK.

For starters…I got there the night of the 4th. Good Friday was the 6th. SAN ANTONIO? Shut down 4/5/2012 for Their Semana Santa. The coincidence of it being another “shutting you in because the system shuts down for Jesus” experience was not lost on me. Only this time, it was for his rebirth instead of his birth.

Secondly…this time i AM a christian. Which sets a whole different set of parameters of batshit crazy shit witnessed. THIS TIME?

Lmao- i was  angry, brooding, emotional EVERYTHING that Needed to be upchucked in the onsite chapel spewing out of me at the altar, projectile spiritual vomit-style lol…That whole “I was a beast to you when i didnt understand~” was underscored by the depths and depravities of the various what the Fucks?! that rose up out of me…stuff i hadnt even realized i’d been lugging with, you know? HOURS in the chapel…ok, all is good now…i love ya…next day, whole other torrent- God, wth is this mess?!”  & NONE of it had to do with Where i was. THAT was the deepness that had me like “….Daaaaamn.” But in the end, i felt honest…and better. than i had felt in a long time.

Meanwhile, i started to notice the Love these women had for EACH OTHER. They had all ended up there this time for different reasons, dealing with a system that’s a whole other story…And they…step up to do for each other what they cant do for themselves. I saw so much paying it forward- a pregnant mom woman would come home and find that someone had gotten maternity shorts and placed them on her bed as a gift, or they’d get pillows for each other, toiletries- a ride- Every place the system failed them, tried to dehumanize them…They -& i dont think they understood the depth of what them doing it said they were capable of – they humanized one another.

& Then…on Good friday night, i was on the bed reading an Article by Norman Vincent peale’s daughter in  a Reader’s Digest, talking about stuff she’d learned from her dad. One of the things was “Give,” & i KNEW this, i’ve tithed  nonstop for years now- but something just caught fire like “Oh yeah!!” & i was like “what do i have to give?”

& Then… it hit me.

I could give these women the one thing the place had given me 13 years earlier.  a Notebook i’d had with me had saved my life by giving me its 60 free pages to write in.

For some reason, in Packing for Mexico, my spirit had been adamant about packing all this reading material that i’d devoured, and all my blank notebooks. Because this Mexico trip was to be a Writing residency, remember. Against ALL logic- especially since i’d had to manuever the bags, I’d packed 20 of 23 blank books of various sizes,shapes and dimensions. My bags were SO fn heavy this whole trip, but i never once doubted i was supposed to have all those books with me.

I leapt off my bunk, tore into my bag & pulled them all out, keeping only the koko & beanie ones. I just started going around.

“Hey, you want a blank journal? to write in, or whatever.Nope. its free.” Some said no. But eventually…all 18 found homes with these chicks. It was the first night i went to sleep feeling like MYSELF in  what felt like years. I like…i laughed myself to sleep over how good it felt to be “back,” And God was all “Nice of you to Join us,” lol.

From then on, outside of my pragmatic approach & my working that chapel OUt…i just opened to the whole thing…and bloomed.

Thirdly…After all that i’d seen in South Beach…to see the just…camraderie and pure love…yall who KNOW me…know how much i CAN laugh when the going gets goofy…and a lot of yall know that in Miami…i’d kinda stopped. And to watch them respond when i stopped being shocked and started being present…was hilarious. I’m telling you…i had more fun with them than i’d had in a loooong time.

But THESE…were some of the silliest women i have rolled with since like…high school. JOY. insane, batshit- twisted goofy,love-based JOY. I have NOT laughed the way i laughed there since New Orleans out there in Hollygrove my first summer. Nonstop. Good-Natured giddiness. So much that the staff would actually  come in and yell at first them…and then eventually..Us… to keep it down…because they couldnt stand the joy ringing out. But the staff/system thing…is a whole other entry.

BUT…i’d handled A, B, & D in a matter of days. It was only due to an interruption in process that it took a bit longer to tackle C & E effectively.

but more on those later.

things to admit: The Mole sauce that made Hecho en Mexico a madcap Mexican m’adventure lol.

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(Disclaimer: THIS is NOT a rose-tinted travelogue entry lol. Not for the faint of heart, but yall who know me know that i was right there with the intensity of it all highs, lows, joys and blows. I could edit out the ish that might scare ya from setting out yourself…but that’d be f’d up on my part, because you’d be going in all wide-eyed and boob-tubed, and it’d be my fault. Advice…dont let it disuade you…let it empower you to amp your game so you’re ready for all aspects of the road. Enjoy the madness)

Due to the early morning fog that had surrounded my bus when we crossed county lines all the way to Nuevo Laredo, I knew I had to go back to San Antonio when i passed through on the way to Mexico. See, i’d been there before, in 98, and a wrong had been done that had changed the trajectory[& directory] of my life.

But on March 12th, 2012  i pushed towards the crazy-assed adventure that was going cross-country from Miami [69 hours] to see a man about a “job offer” [prior to the art residency] in a fishing village that had captured my imagination in the pages of a book one dark day in South Beach. The job offer was gravy. I really was going to go to Sayulita After the residency to see if this tribe of Pachamama women really existed as wild and freely as Julia Chapman made it seem, because their story just hit something in my heart. But the job offer got me to go ahead of time. So glad i did. They do, and i was done once i’d seen their territory for myself and met someone who’d rented spots there for under 400 a month when I go back to write.

The man? Turned out to be a dick lol. What kind of dick?

[WHO SHOT THE DOG VERSION]  One that was indignant & then a little afraid when he found out that I had a slot waiting for me in Queretaro.  It was “Wait- you didnt just come trusting my job offer, you came to scout cheap monthly rentals on the ground and see some fn store before going off to do an art project?! I feel so used in trying to set you up to be hurt!”lol.  I took the high road. It couldnt even suck in the midst, it was just part of the journey. I rolled with it, knocked the dust off my feet and happily headed to Queretaro, my budget a bit f’d due to the expenditure of having to re-route, but chill all the same.

Then it was…THIS IS kukuruku!?! omfngrufnkidding me?!praise god!, hey dude, hummingbirds, circo, omgfng i fn love Queretaro, last minute minion attempts to f up my flow after paintypainty,thankgod for Crisandwab,castrating mexicandudes picking the wrong chick on the wrong day, INDIO, you’re  welcome to stay for as long as you like, writey-writey, museum,museum, gallery, rockaletta, gallery, MEZCAL, omg-the Alamo was the USA fighting with Mexico due to the US renigging on a promise Not to turn Texas into a slave state if it was annexed because Slavery was abolished in 1821 there and half their founding fathers were Billie Dee Williams Black dudes?!WTF?!?  PYRAMID!!!!!! Olmecs, speechless, bohemian rhapsody, omg-you hung them in the lobby?!DOUBLE speechless- They hung the Paintings in the lobby right before i checked out, tearyteary,omg,so grateful cab-ride, wait til you see Bernal~!”

And after 17days in El Centro Historico, Queretaro, I hopped a bus up Highway 120 to Jalpan, intending to catch a connecting bus there to take me stateside before the full-on Semana Santa spanish stuff broke out. Met Bernal on the way. OMG. It was my first time having that reaction to something like that. I have pics. I WILL post. still OMG in hindsight. Everything stopped, like time got slapped. gobstopped. Even the clouds obeyed him and just mimicked his posing lol. Onward & upwards on Highway 120. The Second Pyramid of my life has kicked off a Lara Croft phase that i laid at the feet of God by heading home via Jalpan (a mission city), instead of hitting a trail of lost sky cities built by “they dont know who, they dont know when” that Nobody had told my lost civilization-mad butt about until i got to Queretaro.

[Another thing to note: I was supposed to go to Cuernavaca too. But there is nothing like being on the ground. I got to Queretaro & even folks FROM there were like do not go there.The same drug stuff that you hear about has hit it too, and not only is in unsafe for American travelers, Mexican female travelers were not allowed to go out once they checked into their spots too.]

So, imagine my surprise when i get to Jalpan and…they tell me no more buses out to Matamoros that night, i had to stay over in their town’s “Hotel.” The guy gives me a ride to it. Of course…it was also completely Out of the budget, but i had to trust the nudge to go through Jalpan, and figured i’d just make it work in Texas. Imagine my surprise deepening during the night [Jalpan is teeny and beautiful, btw, but…] when a bug decided to crawl across the bed to come for me, got killed and was full of blood lolol. I couldnt sleep lolol in case he was the scout lol, so stayed up watching Lost in Translation, really bad soft-core stuff and J-pop[of all things] on cable tv in the middle of the mountains of Mexico til like 4am. It all changed to a low-grade disgust when the bus i was to leave out on…turned out to be the bus that had been beside the one i’d gotten off of the day before, and they tried to game again, not understanding that i understood what they had done :/ BUT it was funny.ish. It was funny-ish:/

The bus ride to Matamoros was on a 2nd class bus. No 1st class ones on the route. What this meant…was besides going through towns that felt like the valley of death for real at 2am,everyone up and miserably melted atop fridges and stretches of refuse in the odd glowing red light[kid ya not-it was very visual]…i got my taste of the infamous Mexican roadblocks.

Like four to five times in that one night.All in army fatigues, busting onto the bus with machine guns,asking for papers- the kid with the gun who was #3 for me asking to see my I.D. who clearly hadnt seen a US passport before in his life made me think of Tropic of Thunder, so my mood was a bit Robert Downey Jr.-ish at that point[I’m the dude playing another dude who thinks he-in other words, my crazy ass was right there with it lol]. I also got a taste of telling a pervy old Mexican man his ass wasn’t sitting with me no matter what he thought in his mother tongue to the shock of the women & children he’d drunkenly pushed by before coming for me. And the hilarious thing…to me, anyway…was that it was all par for the course. Nan a ruffled feather, no big whoop. “Whatever~ do you know the trip i just had,God is soooo good!!! moving on~”style.

Matamoros at 6am, three of us on the bus, still took 45 minutes to get to the border check-point then another 45 to be processed, BUT the nudge was spot-on regarding coming back home not via Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana. I actually grinned like a big kid upon coming back into the states, and the Mariachi music on the station flipped to Christian Music soon as we got in lol. Which…was a nice touch. It was cool to see that i still am American lol.

Which brings us back to the aforementioned San Antonio. THAT…i got to by the skin of my ass from Brownsville, although happily..and ended up face to face with the demon that i had let change the course of my life thirteen years ago.

More on that later.

.:)

in the meanwhile…EXODUS, EXIST & EMPYREAN are FINALLY available in ebook format!

That’s right 🙂 the babies have gone digital.I am shyly peering out at the whole thing from behind my hands lol.  Go to the updated author spotlight here:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/AngelBrynner

paperback is still at the top of the pile, but you guys can change that lol[jedimindgrip]!

…or just click on this button to get you goin in the right direction 🙂

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

and hopefully it leads you to where you really want to go lol